If you were in the Kirkland House dining hall one Saturday night a year ago, you must remember the deafening silence that reigned after those upstarts from Penn snapped the Harvard heavyweight crew's 26-race win streak.
You also remember the circumstances. On a typical windy day on the Charles, the Penn coxswain steered his eight out of his lane and into more sheltered waters for the body of the race. Aided by the calmer conditions, the Quakers nipped their Crimson counterparts by a tenth of a second.
Revenge Is Sweet
And of course you recall the fierce determination for revenge that drove the oarsmen past Penn to cop the Eastern Sprints title by almost a length the next weekend at Princeton.
Our heroes in crimson are already one down to their nemesis this season, as the Quakers finished second in the San Diego Classic in April, a half-length ahead of the fourth-place Harvard shell.
The long-time rivals go at it again in the Adams Cup race on the Schuykill River in Philadelphia tomorrow, in what should be a neck-and-neck encounter. An eight from Navy rounds out the field but doesn't loom as a threat to the oarsmen.
"Harvard and Penn should be pretty close," coach Harry Parker said last night, adding. "It's just a question of which team comes up with the better race."
Before last year's mishap, Barker's charges held the Adams Cup for five years, and ten of the last 13.
The lightweights, sporting the same lineup for the second week in a row, host Yale and Princeton Sunday in the Goldthwait Cup race for the Big Three title.
Coach John Higginson is not without reservations as he approaches the confrontation. "Princeton is ranked number two, and on paper they may be a little faster," the Crimson mentor said last night.
Higginson is less worried about Yale. "Unless everybody makes mistakes, they won't be a factor in the race," he said.
The cup has spent the past 20 years at 60 Boylston, except for a one-year visit to New Jersey in 1973.